An unsettling portrait of snipers in the midst of the war in Bosnia in 1992.
By Stephen Schwartz for DR (19th December 1992)

Familiar surroundings transform and friends and acquaintances turn into enemies.

Contains content that listeners may find distressing.

Sniper was the winner of the 1993 Prix Italia for Documentary.

In the transcript for the Prix Italia the producers described the process of making this feature –

“While researching Sniper, Stephen Schwartz discovered that while plenty of people talked about snipers, very few had actually talked to a sniper. So he got in touch with a colleague, Boro Kontic, in Sarajevo via the EBU satellite, which was the only secure line into the radio station in Sarajevo, and asked him to do the interviews with the snipers. When the tapes were ready they were smuggled out by an Irish TV man, who mailed them from Frankfurt during a stop-over. Much of the live sound in this programme was taken from TV coverage of the war in Sarajevo. The sounds were then processed digitally – like the rest of the programme.”

Directed by Stephen Schwartz

Recordings in Sarajevo by Boro Kontic

Sound by Frank Lindeskov

Translation by Jonathan Sydenham

Stephen Schwartz was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1940, but moved to Denmark from 1961. He died in 2013. His programmes include ‘We People’ – a feature series from 1964 to 1979 – The Mind’s Eye (winner of the Prix Italia, 1982), Notes from a City Dump, The Amber Gatherer, Clouds in Flight and The Night Watchman – the documentary where he pioneered his landmark interview technique known as the ‘moments interview’ or the ‘full Schwartz’. You can learn more about it here.